Articles on GST

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Treasurer Joe Hockey is likely to have an easier time selling a package of tax reforms rather than individual changes. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

How increasing the GST could boost our standard of living

Changing the GST in isolation would create serious problems, but increasing it alongside other reforms could have a major upside.
Treasurer Joe Hockey said that Australia’s heavy reliance on income taxes ‘may be unsustainable’. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Tax paper shows bracket creep is stalking Australian taxpayers

The government's long awaited tax discussion paper says Australia has a relatively low tax burden compared to other developed countries but its system faces "challenges from a changing world".
Can everyone be a winner from comprehensive tax reform? Image sourced from Shutterstock.com

Tax reform - can we ALL win?

Just what are the issues we need to watch when it comes to tax reform? Read this explainer.
Political, not legal hurdles, stand in the way of the Australian Prime Minister increasing the GST. Lukas Coch/AAP

Why the Commonwealth can change the GST without the states

Under Australian law, changes to the GST are said to be not permitted unless the states agree to the changes. In reality, the GST lock-in mechanism is legally meaningless and unenforceable, though it may…
History tells us it’s better for countries to get their GST right to start with, rather than try to broaden the base later. Natalie Boog/AAP

What can other countries teach us about GST reform?

Value added tax (VAT), virtually non-existent before 1960, has been the predominant form of consumption tax since the mid-1980s. Given that more than 160 countries now have a VAT, it is hardly surprising…
Many stubbornly believe a bigger pot of GST revenues, like the magic pudding, will regenerate. PeraCultured/Flickr

Selling a GST rise will be easier if we can follow the money

Australia’s latest GST debate may be the political version of The Magic Pudding. We stubbornly believe that a bigger pot of GST revenues will regenerate – in whatever flavour is desired – like Alfred the…
Shifting the tax burden to wage earners in the middle is a costly and outdated approach to tax reform. Dave Hunt/AAP

Expanding the GST would hit the ‘middle’ and women the hardest

Many developed economies have experienced a significant increase in inequality in recent decades. Survey data for Australia show that the share of the top 10% of the income distribution, and more markedly…
Australia’s GST is considered a regressive tax, so the idea of extending it to fresh food is considered unfair. A more detailed analysis reveals it’s not that simple. Charlotte90T/Flickr

Making the case for GST on fresh food

With the federal government’s review of taxation about to get underway, many are expecting Australia’s Goods and Services Tax to be up for change. In this GST series we take a closer look at the evidence…
The first incarnation of the now-gone mining tax focused on economic rent. Is targeting powerful rent seekers too hard? AAP/Kim Christian

How’s this for fundamental tax reform? Target the rentseekers

Tax is back in the spotlight with coalition MPs and the Australia Institute talking about getting rid of some of the exemptions to the GST. There has also been a lot of talk about whether or not corporate…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott needs to contain the backbiting and discontent in the higher reaches of his government. AAP/Lukas Coch

Grattan on Friday: Being a ‘better government’ will be a big job

After getting a serious bollocking from Ray Hadley on Thursday, Tony Abbott told the Sydney shock jock that he’s determined to be “a better prime minister with a better government and a more effective…
To prevent future pain, the government can’t put off tough decisions on tax. Lukas Coch/AAP

Why it’s time to hike the GST and levy an inheritance tax

The government’s recent budget outlook (MYEFO) confirmed that the Australian government budget is rotten at the core. The government is hopelessly living beyond its means, with expenditure greater than…
Clive Palmer was totally opposed to the government’s “direct action” climate policy only a few months ago. Now he’s voting for it. AAP/Alan Porritt

Grattan on Friday: Abbott government gets some wins – and gives the odd hostage to the future

In a move that channels John Howard, Tony Abbott has put changing the GST on the political agenda, just over a year after assuring the public it would not be altered, “full stop, end of story”. In the…
A review of federalism and taxation should begin with recognising the value of what we have created as a nation. Flickr/Ross Thomson

Why we should consider ourselves a nation first, a federation second

The reform of Australia’s federation is under review. So far in our special series, leading Australian academics have discussed the future of the federation when it comes to taxation, education and health…
The way we are governed has changed radically from the world of the Constitutional founders. Flickr/Alison Young

Renewing Australian federalism

The reform of Australia’s federation is under review, with a White Paper process currently underway. In partnership with the Australian National University’s Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at the Crawford…

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